|Newspaper Title||Launceston Examiner (Tas. : 1842 - 1899)|
|Trove Title||Light after Darkness|
FOR THE CHILDREN, ---e- LIGHT AFTER DARKNESS. Written for the "Examiner" BY "ETHELBURC-A," LAUNCESTON CHAPTER XIII. "Why, Bob, my boy, where h?ave you " been?" he asked. 'My story may bhe told in a few c -words: I : reached England and re- c niained but a weel- theie. " 'Iheard a g great deial-- ot.S6uttli ,frhica, and .thie wonderful fortunes that had been made in tha~t land of gold and dia monds, and though when..I left Tas mania it was my intention -to go. to America, the glowing accounts from Aftrica caused -me to change' my mind. 'I left England fo0r the CapDe in com |pany with a number of young -fellows, -whose acquaintance I had made in Ldoiidon. But fortunes wvere not so easily made as I had ,hoped. I worked hard in'eSouth Africa for a long time, with wretched luck. But at last I was successful, and I am now, if not a tic:h man, wealthy enough .to be satisfied." "I am very glad of tihat," said Bo1b's former master. "But why did you not write? Yo~tr father -thinks you dead." "Poor dad!" said Bob. "Well, sir, I made up my m:ind to' keep sdlent while luck was against me. It was only last year that things:took a- turn for the better, and then, "like. Cro-esus, everything I touched seemed to turn to gold. '[lhen I was seized with home sickness, and determined to leave for Tasmania, aind here I am. Now- that I .have satisfied you, I must go, to my father, like 'the prodigal of old, for for giveness." "Oh, never fear, Bob. 'The fatted calif will be killed for you. Come back to us soon, like -a good fellow." 'lThe meeting between -father and son need not be described. There was an element of reproach in Mr. Smith's questions, and. Bob felt that it was de served. "I de<cided to wait, falther. I could not wrirte -until I had something pleasant to tell you, and when fortune smiled upon me, I thought I would come home and see tihe old ,place again. But, father, I rhave 'to make a confes sion of a- sin thalt :has caused me the most profound resnorse during the seven years that have elapsed since .I stole away like a thief in the night from nmy home." And BUob descnired in trembling -ac cents holw he had been. tempted and 1 how easily he had fallen. H-ow, aitfber he had spent the money he had stolen, he had repenited, sai resolved to re store it, and confess the wrong he had committed, a resolution which, he said, he had retutrned to Tasmanlia to vindi cate. "I d;o not expect forgiveness, faitlher," he salid, mournfully; "for there was no justificati-on for may sin. Still, my re pen.tance is sincere, and though it has sbeen long delayed, the resti-tution of Sthis money and the .interest, and my avowal will, I hope, be accepted by you and .the owner, as testimony of the deep regret I have experienced and still feel, that I was unable, wheni -tempta tion assailed me, to withstand It. Can you forgive -me, father?"